Yesterday was World Oceans Day. Right when environmentalists are struggling for a handhold, and making progress in some areas, the Deepwater Horizon Disaster in the Gulf of Mexico is threatening the lives of millions of ocean creatures, the livelihood of thousands of fisherman and Gulf Coast tourism enterprises, and thousands of square miles of fragile coastal ecosystems.

My friend April Moore, in a post yesterday on her Earth Connection Blog called “A Prayer on World Oceans Day“, shared a wonderful video, Ocean Beauty, and a moving Sioux Prayer Request from Chief Arvol Looking Horse, the Present Chief and Keeper of the Sacred White Buffalo Calf Pipe of the Lakota, Dakota, Nakota Nation of the Sioux, in response to the oil spill tragedy. One of the many beautiful lines spoke great Truth to me: As we pray, we will fully understand that we are all connected. And that what we create can have lasting effects on all life. The Nature Conservancy has posted an interesting interactive chart that helps us understand our everyday connection with the oceans. Click Here.

We may feel helpless in the face of the enormity of this most recent environmental challenge, but now is the time for action, not apathy:

  • Send a contribution or volunteer for an environmental or animal welfare organization that is working to make a difference. Click here to read a Huffington Post article called “Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Impact: Get Involved.” It includes some excellent resources for taking action.
  • If you’re interested in the complexity of the current crisis, an article my son sent from The Economist called “What Lies Beneath” is quite informative.
  • Go to the library and get some books on the oceans and their essential role in our earth’s well-being.
  • Read extensively on one or two ocean creatures that are new to you and add to your Ocean education.
  • Reflect on the interconnectedness of the natural world. Here in the Shenandoah Valley, for instance, we are part of the Chesapeake Bay watershed which, of course, directly impacts the Atlantic Ocean.

A tragedy can only be redeemed when we work through it and learn from it, and this applies not just to the large stakeholders, but to each of us as well. Take some small action today that will contribute to the solution and make you more educated and aware of the ocean world that covers 71 percent of the Earth’s surface and contains 97 percent of the planet’s water.[1. http://www.noaa.gov/ocean.html]

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